MAUI, Hawaii — Oregon and Georgetown keep facing off in far-away places.
The fourth-ranked Ducks will meet the Hoyas in the first round of the Maui Invitational on Monday. Three years ago, Oregon opened the season with an 82-75 win over Georgetown in South Korea.
“We were able to play Georgetown three years ago and we had a tough game with them,” Ducks coach Dana Altman said. “We know they are an awfully good team with a lot of players coming back and we have a good core group coming back.”
Oregon is one of three ranked teams in the field along with No. 5 North Carolina and No. 9 Wisconsin. The Ducks and Badgers would face off in the semifinals if both advance out of the first round while the Tar Heels could await Oregon or Wisconsin in the title game.
“You look at the field and the exciting thing about it is a lot of teams have a lot of experience,” Altman said. “There are good programs and good coaches. North Carolina is coming off being in the national championship and Wisconsin was in the Sweet 16 and we had a nice year. It should be a competitive field.”
Oregon has its highest ranking in school history after reaching the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament last season, but the Ducks will likely fall when the new polls come out Monday following a 66-49 loss at Baylor on Tuesday.
“Sometimes it is harder to maintain a certain level of success than achieve it, so we definitely have some obstacles to overcome to get guys in the right frame of mind to compete,” Altman said. “This tournament will do that because game in and game out there will be great competition.”
The Ducks hope to have all-conference junior forward Dillon Brooks back to face the Hoyas after he missed the first three games of the season following foot surgery. The 6-foot-7 Brooks, who averaged 16.7 points and 5.4 rebounds last year, has been going through workouts with the team and could be medically cleared in time for the trip to Maui.
“He's a big part of our team, but who knows when he's going to be back,” Altman said. “I don't. The doctors haven't told me. I know he's anxious to get back but until they release him we have to play without him.”
It is unlikely Brooks will start when he first returns because he will be on a limited schedule.
“We will play him on the exact schedule the doctor gives us,” Altman said. “We are not going to be conservative or push the envelope, we will do exactly what the doctors say.”
Oregon opened the season with a 91-77 win over Army before losing at Baylor. The Ducks bounced back with a 76-54 win over Valparaiso on Thursday.
With Brooks on the bench, center Chris Boucher leads Oregon in scoring at 17 points per game, followed by guard Tyler Dorsey at 12.7. Junior forward Jordan Bell is averaging 12.3 points and a team-high 8.7 rebounds.
Georgetown is 1-2 after back-to-back losses against Maryland and Arkansas State. Guards L.J. Peak and Rodney Pryor each lead the team with 17.7 points per game while center Jessie Govan is averaging 14.3.